A periodic blog about Games, Books, Movies, Pop culture, Technology and whatever else I happen to feel like writing about...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Star Wars Battlefront II, Age of Steam, France and The Lonely Mountain

Friday was a holiday for us lowly public servant types, and Mike, as usual, was up for a game. He brought along his friend John, who proved to be of good gamer stock, and who will definitely be invited back to Foster Street Studios, or, as Mike prefers to call it, "The Geek Pad". Fresh from BGG Con, Mike taunted us by wearing his BGG Con t Shirt, and had brought along a copy of Age of Steam.

As we were waiting for John, we played some Star Wars Battlefront II on the PS2. Cim and I had been big fans of the first SWB, and the second instalment is much better. They have added new character classes and game types, as well as space combat sections and the ability to play as Jedi and heroes. While we were not pwning too many players, we had fun, and managed a few frags.

Once John arrived, we set up Age of Steam. Once we started to play, I could immediately see why this game has garnered so much praise. It is a true gamer's game, and early mistakes could be crippling. While it is not hard to learn the rules, there is much depth of play both to the turn by turn decisions as well as the placement of track on the board. John proved to be the best Tycoon, and he was able to win handily, with me coming in second and Mike finishing third.

After Age of Steam, I was able to get The Lonely Mountain to the table. The Lonely Mountain is one of the games that ICE, Iron Crown Enterprises, produced while they held the Tolkien License, and it is basically a multi player dungeon crawl with some wargame bits thrown in.

A monster and treasure appearance chart holds cards representing various treasures, great treasures, traps and monsters, including the fearsome Smaug the Dragon. The players have different groups, representing Elves, Orcs, Men and Dwarves, and must make their way through Smaug's lair trying to acquire, and escape with, more treasure than the other groups.
Once Smaug is revealed, the game will be shortly over, as the brave adventurers will either flee in terror, die battling Smaug, or, more unlikely still, manage to defeat Smaug in battle.

Since I had never been able to get this game to the table previously, we had some rules questions pop up, but this proved to be a decent dungeon romp. Since the monsters and treasures are set up semi-randomly, the game did not need a referee, and we were all able to try out our luck. We were also all able to delight when monsters temporarily under our control were able to rid the lair of pesky adventurers.

In the end, John's fortuitous finding of two great treasures proved to be unbeatable, as we ran out of time and decided to call the game.

All in all, it was a great way to spend a day off, and we will definitely add John to the Usual Suspects. Mike has also promised to write up a guest blog entry, detailing his experiences at BGG Con, and I eagerly await his input.

Until next time, gentle readers, keep your stick on the ice. Go Sens Go!


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